You can currently buy points and miles with up to a 155% bonus — but should you?

14 March 2023

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

Loyalty programs are a huge moneymaker for airlines and hotel companies — largely because they have many revenue streams.

One of these revenue streams is selling airline miles and hotel points at a discount or with a bonus.

Selling points or miles gives the seller an immediate cash injection, as travelers are essentially prepaying for future travel at a potential discount.

This guide walks you through some of the best current sales on airline miles and hotel points, including some that may be targeted. But first, let’s discuss when it makes sense to buy points and miles.

Should I buy points and miles now?

Buying miles for high-end travel can be a good deal. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

There are a couple of things to consider before taking advantage of these sales.

First, buying points and miles only makes sense for certain travelers. It’s generally a much better deal to earn points and miles for “free” through welcome bonuses on top travel rewards credit cards.

However, buying points and miles during good promotions can make sense for those who have tapped out their credit card options and can get high value from their rewards.

That said, we only recommend buying points or miles if you have an immediate use in mind. Otherwise, you’re left open to unexpected devaluations.

With that out of the way, here are the promotions for buying points and miles that are currently available.

Related: How I saved thousands of dollars on travel by buying 310,000 points

Promotions for buying airline miles

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Air Canada Aeroplan

Current promotion: Select either up to an 80% bonus or up to a 45% discount.
Purchase rate: As low as 1.41 cents per point with the discount or 1.42 cents per point with the bonus.
TPG valuation: 1.5 cents per point.
End date: March 30.
Link to buy points with the discount or the bonus.

Air Canada Aeroplan is letting members select bonus points or a discount when purchasing Aeroplan points through March 30. Unless you think you’ll hit the maximum 1 million base Aeroplan points you can buy in a calendar year, the discount is probably the best route as the purchase rate is slightly less expensive, and you can unlock the highest discount buying fewer points than you would with the bonus.

Remember, Aeroplan processes point purchases in Canadian dollars, so use a card without a foreign transaction fee.

Verdict: With a purchase rate below TPG’s valuation and the favorable US dollar to Canadian dollar exchange rate, this promotion is a great way to book an Aeroplan sweet spot.

Alaska Mileage Plan

Current promotion: Up to a 50% bonus.
Purchase rate: As low as 1.97 cents per mile.
TPG valuation: 1.8 cents per mile.
End date: March 15.
Link to buy miles.

Alaska Mileage Plan has been devaluing partner redemptions left and right, but the current promotion could be appealing if you’re ready to buy and redeem miles quickly. The 50% bonus kicks in when you buy at least 30,000 miles, with smaller bonuses available on smaller mileage purchases. Alaska charges around an 8% tax recovery fee when you buy miles.

Verdict: This could be an appealing promotion for an Alaska sweet spot.

American AAdvantage

Current promotion: Up to a 35% discount.
Purchase rate: As low as 2.45 cents per mile.
TPG valuation: 1.77 cents per mile.
End date: TBD.
Link to buy miles.

American Airlines AAdvantage is offering up to a 35% discount on miles. You’ll get the highest discount when you buy 150,000 miles, dropping the price to 2.45 cents per mile. This is significantly higher than TPG’s valuation of American miles but could still be a good deal for specific high-end awards.

Verdict: It can be a decent deal if you expect to redeem your miles for expensive, premium-cabin travel.

Avianca LifeMiles

Current promotion: Up to a 155% bonus.
Purchase rate: 1.35 cents per mile.
TPG valuation: 1.7 cents per mile.
End date: March 29.
Link to buy miles.

Avianca LifeMiles is offering up to a 155% bonus when you buy at least 51,000 miles by March 29. You’ll unlock smaller bonuses when you buy fewer miles. Although this promotion isn’t quite as generous as the 165% bonus LifeMiles offered earlier this year, it still can be a great way to book Star Alliance award tickets at a fraction of the normal price.

Verdict: While not the best sale LifeMiles has offered, the purchase rate is below TPG’s valuation of LifeMiles, so it’s worth checking award availability for your next flight.

Lufthansa Miles & More

Current promotion: Buy a small, medium or large Bundle&Go.
Purchase rate: As low as 1.52 cents per mile.
End date: March 31.
Link to buy packages.

Lufthansa Miles & More doesn’t ordinarily sell miles, but right now, there’s a workaround. You can buy a small, medium or large bundle with 16,000, 70,000 or 120,000 miles. You can buy these packages for 250 euros (around $269), 1,000 euros ($1,074) or 1,750 euros ($1,880), respectively.

Verdict: Since Miles & More often charges fuel surcharges, compare award rates with other Star Alliance programs before buying a package.

Southwest Rapid Rewards

Current promotion: Up to a 45% discount.
Purchase rate: As low as 1.65 cents per point.
TPG valuation: 1.5 cents per point.
End date: April 4.
Link to buy points.

Southwest Rapid Rewards is offering a discount when you buy points through April 4. When you buy 5,000 to 9,000 points, you’ll unlock a 35% discount, while buying 10,000 to 14,000 points unlocks a 40% discount. The maximum 45% discount kicks in when you buy over 15,000 points.

Verdict: Since Southwest uses dynamic pricing, it isn’t easy to get more than 1.5 cents per point. As a result, we generally only recommend buying Southwest points to top off your account for a specific redemption.

United MileagePlus

Current promotion: Up to a 100% bonus.
Purchase rate: As low as 1.88 cents per mile.
TPG valuation: 1.21 cents per mile.
End date: March 19.
Link to buy miles.

United MileagePlus is offering a bonus when you buy miles by March 19. You’ll unlock a 50% bonus when you buy over 5,000 miles, a 75% bonus on over 15,000 miles and a 100% bonus when you buy at least 40,000 miles. Still, the purchase rate is significantly above TPG’s valuation of United miles.

Verdict: Probably not worth it unless you’re topping off your account, aiming for United status with award travel or redeeming United miles at maximum value.

Promotions for buying hotel points

The Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome. ANDREW KUNESH/THE POINTS GUY

IHG One Rewards

Current promotion: 100% bonus.
Purchase rate: As low as 0.5 cents per point.
TPG valuation: 0.5 cents per point.
End date: March 21.
Link to buy points.

Through March 21, IHG One Rewards is offering a 100% bonus to targeted members. You’ll need to buy at least 5,000 points to receive the bonus.

IHG offers the best price to members buying at least 26,000 points, which comes to just 0.5 cents apiece. This is the exact purchase price that IHG One Rewards sold its points for in October.

Verdict: Worth comparing cash and award prices on your next IHG reservation.

Marriott Bonvoy

Current promotion: 40% bonus.
Purchase rate: 0.89 cents per point.
TPG valuation: 0.84 cents per point.
End date: April 3.
Link to buy points.

Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 40% bonus when you purchase at least 2,000 points. This promotion brings the purchase rate roughly in line with TPG’s valuations, meaning this sale might be worthwhile. Just keep in mind that you can purchase up to 100,000 points annually, excluding the 40% bonus.

Verdict: Compare cash and award prices when you book your next Marriott stay.

World of Hyatt

Current promotion: 25% discount.
Purchase rate: 1.8 cents per point.
TPG valuation: 1.7 cents per point.
End date: March 25.
Link to buy points.

World of Hyatt is a favorite of the TPG team for having the most valuable hotel points. When you buy at least 5,000 points through March 25, you’ll unlock a 25% discount.

Last year, we saw a more intriguing promotion from Hyatt that allowed members to buy points for just 1.68 cents apiece. Still, this promotion could be worthwhile since Hyatt waives resort fees on award stays.

Verdict: Even with the high purchase rate, it could be worthwhile, especially if you want to dodge resort fees.

Which credit card should you use to buy miles?

Most of these promotions are processed through Points.com rather than directly by the hotel or airline. Unfortunately, that means you won’t usually get bonus rewards with a travel category bonus card.

Instead, go for a card that offers a solid return on non-bonus spending. Remember that you may incur foreign transaction fees on some cards when buying points or miles from a program abroad. As such, you may want to use one of the following cards:

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and no foreign transaction fees.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and no foreign transaction fees.

If you’re working toward a credit card spending requirement, using that card may be the way to go. For additional suggestions, check out our guide to the best cards for everyday spending.

The main exception to this rule is American Airlines. The airline reportedly codes mileage purchases as airfare, so you may want to use a credit card that earns bonus miles on airfare for the highest returns when buying AAdvantage miles.

Related: The best credit cards for buying points and miles

Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh, Benji Stawski and Katie Genter.

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